Journal of Sustainable Social Change




Innovation competency among religious leaders has been an area of study as nonprofit researchers continue to discover that conventional ways of managing change are no longer effective when tackling present issues. Discussions regarding using innovation competency to manage change among religious leaders are vague, despite benefits to the nonprofit sector. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of nonprofit church leaders to better understand how innovation competency has shaped organizational change results. Boyatzis’ effective job performance model was the conceptual framework that guided this study. Interview data were gathered from 14 participants who met the inclusion criteria of being a leader with innovation competency experience living in New York, New York. Data from the transcripts were inductively analyzed by using computer software and coded techniques for 10 emergent themes. Results revealed improved organizational performance for church leaders who used innovation competency in managing change, along with spirituality and faith. However, emerging themes showed diverse reasons for innovation competency use and its influences on leaders’ behavioral characteristics. Positive social change can be achieved by promoting innovation competency among religious leaders irrespective of spirituality, belief, and doctrine position regarding change management and organizational performance. Outcomes of this study may also provide useful information for religious leaders regarding implementing new ways and programs to help organizational growth.